The new site had been running for a few days now, but only today had it been fast enough for me to get a smooth stream. The first and biggest overall change has to be the player. Yes, you are no longer playing the radio stream in your favorite player, but a small downloadable player that looks just like the old controller pane.
This is quite a bold move, but I think it had paid off. Bad responsiveness was my main gripe about the old interface, and the Last.fm player solved this quite admirably. And though I didn’t have problem with the separate UI (the pop-up window and the music player), I have heard many complains.
The rest of the changes, by the ordered I noticed them:
- Site design I’m still partial to the new red/pink theme, but the new layout are more usable and seems to put a lot of importance in the various list available on your profile page.
- Tags I’m a self confessed tag lover, but I’m not sure this will work for me. Apart from genre, I can’t think of anything else as tags for songs. (Took a peek at the tag chart and peoples seem to have the same idea.) It’s also not possible to tag the song you are currently playing. You have to go to that song’s page and type in the tag. Not very usable if you ask me.
- API The Audioscrobbler API works much faster. (I use it through AudioPod to add songs I played on my iPod to the library)
- Create Station Now when you enter some artist names, a statioin is generated and you start listening right away. The search result used to be users who also like these artists, where you then have to choose to listen to one of their profile radio.
- Set Price It now costs $3 flat per month for upgraded account. They use to let you choose however much you think it’s worth. I was paying $5 a month.
It now uses HSBC CPI to process payments.
- Recommendations used to break down to album level, not is only artist level. This is a lost.
My last words are, it was already a great service before the upgrade. It still is very enjoyable and more stable.